Friday, June 29, 2018

Women Composers That You Should Hear!

By Andy Fein and Ivana Truong

Most of the Western Classical Music world has been dominated for centuries by male composers.
Or, at least we think it has. Many great women composers have lived and died, and many are actively writing beautiful music today. Who are they? Where are they? How come we don't know more about them?  Well, let's start with classical concert programmers. A recent article in The Guardian by Mark Brown pointed out that about 95% of all the classical music on concert programs through 2019 was by male composers. Is it possible that male composers wrote 95% of all the classical music that's worth listening to or performing? Of course not! 

Fanny Mendelssohn, 'Women in European History'

Friday, June 22, 2018

'Playing In', 'Breaking In' a New Instrument. Is it a Thing?

By Andy Fein, Luthier
Fein Violins
and Ivana Truong

Our own Patrizio Stradivari model violin being "played in" with Classical MPR

You often hear a string player talk about how their violin, viola, or cello has really "opened up" in the weeks, months, or years since they first bought it. A statement like that is so common, we assume it's true. But is it? What actually happens when an instrument is "played in"? Does it really "open up"? Is there really a "breaking in" period?
The absolute, categorical, definitive answer to that is---- 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Joachim, Some Grand-Nieces, and a Seance = The Schumann Violin Concerto

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins,
and Ivana Truong

The Schumann Violin Concerto!!! One of your favorites, right? You see it on an orchestra's upcoming season and you're buying tickets the very next minute, right? Ummmmm? Not so much??? Never heard of the Schumann Violin Concerto or heard it played? You're in the vast majority of the classical music audience. The Schumann Violin Concerto is rarely played. And, so goes the consensus, for good reason.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Glasser Carbon Composite Violin. Review and Comparison

By Andy Fein, Fein Violins, Ltd.

The best thing I can say about the new Glasser Carbon Composite Violin is that it's COOL looking. Really, really cool!
Glasser Carbon Composite Violin

Sunday, April 9, 2017

What's the Best Sounding Cello?

By Andy Fein, Violin Maker and Owner, Fein Violins

In our shop, we're often asked "What's the best sounding cello?" Everyone wants the best sound, of course. Every player wants to have great tone, great projection, and fast response. Who wouldn't??? But..... (and there's always a but) I think two words have been left out of that question. The question really should be "What's the best sounding cello FOR ME?" Or, my child, friend, spouse, etc.
The 'King' Amati cello, made circa 1555

(If you read my previous blog post What's the Best Sounding Violin?, much of the following will sound familiar)

The wonderful cellist Myung-Wha Chung plays on what I consider to be one of the best (if not THE BEST!) sounding cellos I've ever heard, the 1731 'Braga' Stradivarius cello. I've also had the opportunity to study this cello in depth.